Service dogs are dogs designated to lead and to assist the handicapped in their daily routine at home and out of the home. The Center introduces the handicapped person to a trained dog, so that we can assess his/her fitness level, limitations and the person's relation to the dog. Following an in-depth acquaintanceship and examination of the findings, we prepare and define a work program including all that will be demanded of the dog, considering the level of handicap.
Note: The work program is laid out following the diagnosis of a psychologist and the medical staff.
The Center Trains Dogs for Special Needs groups:
-Disabled and motorically impaired
-Hearing and visually impaired
-Brain injuries-CVA, C.P
-Severe mental retardation
-Alzheimer's – project
-Various developmental disabilities in children – ADHD, ADD and more.
-Dementia and similar mental diseases.
The Five Stages of Training Service Dogs:
During the Stage one called "First Grade", the dog is taught to walk on a leash without pulling forward and is exposed to stimulations which he will encounter in daily life.
During stage two called "Second Grade", the dog is taught the principles of the trade as a service dog. For example: Stopping at the curb, making right and left turns and turning backwards, warning before an obstacle such as road blocks or roads under repair, etc.
During stage three the dog is taught not to enter narrow or low spaces, walk in a straight line, avoid obstacles and walk in the center of the path. Also, the dog will open doors, drawers, fetched objects that were dropped, fetch specific objects, assist in getting onto public transportation, into elevators and more. (A detailed account of the tasks required depends on the nature of the dog's job).
During stage four, the difficult stage, the dog is taught to use discretion and resist the handicap's action, if an obstacle or danger presents itself (pointing out danger zones).
-Stage five is the final stage. The dog meets its new owner and here begins the work together and the bonding between man and dog, with the guidance of the head trainer and the multi-professional team.
Note: The tasks required of the dog vary according to the personal needs of each individual.
Service Dogs for the Mentally or Emotionally Disabled
Special Needs groups in society: The Autistic, persons with different levels of mental retardation, Persons with Dementia, PDD, Alzheimer's (and similar diseases), mentally handicapped, sufferers of brain injuries. The project includes working individually with a trained dog, allowing the person to experience the dog's world up close. If we find that there is a connection between the person and the dog, we will work following these stages:
During stage one, the initial connection between the person and the dog is made. The connection is formed by individual work, throughout which the coach learns about the person's limitations and character on which he then bases the work plan on. In this course, we emphasize developing patience, encouraging physical contact and reinforcing confidence (therapy dogs).
During stage two, the Center will match the right dog to a person according to his/her character and limitations, and begins the dog's training towards his final purpose as a service dog.
-During stage three, the dog undergoes a mission training course. In this course the dog learns to execute tasks in order to assist the person in his/her home and out of the home, while being introduced to the person during the training.
During stage four, the dog graduates. The dog is transferred to his designated owner and from this point forward, up to the final absorption, the head trainer will escort the person to ensure absorption and a formation of a healthy bond between the person and the dog.
The dog is a social-communicative intermediary between man and his/her surroundings. The dog serves as a secondary guide in a person's life and will become inseparable from the person's world within society.